There's a device driver for a piece of hardware that my company (re)sells that doesn't always uninstall cleanly. I'm pretty sure that the installer creates files and makes registry that aren't undone by the uninstaller. My idea is to create a new, clean virtual machine, install the driver, and track what changes it made so I can manually remove them.

Is there a way to do this? Or, is there a way to do a before-and-after comparison of the file system and registry, to see what changed?

Thanks for your time.


How can I install the driver, and track what changes it made so I can manually remove them?

You can use Process Monitor from Microsoft's SysInternals to monitor registry changes.

  1. Start Process Monitor.

  2. Log results to a log file.

  3. Install the driver.

  4. Stop logging.

  5. Look at the log file for registry changes.

Process Monitor is an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity. It combines the features of two legacy Sysinternals utilities, Filemon and Regmon, and adds an extensive list of enhancements including rich and non-destructive filtering, comprehensive event properties such session IDs and user names, reliable process information, full thread stacks with integrated symbol support for each operation, simultaneous logging to a file, and much more.

Source Process Monitor


I am not affiliated with Process Monitor in any way, I am just an end user of the software.


A good place to start is with the MS app certification kit:


And, for drivers, the driver certification kit:


Clean installation and de-installation is one of the requirements of Windows certification. I haven't used recent versions of the kit, but they used to give a good indication if you had clean installation and de-installation, plus other useful information helping you decide if your app/driver was ready to be released on an unsuspecting public.

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